As They Say: Location, Location, Location

by Bryan Friedman in All In The Family, Daddy's Corner

Two months before Madelyn was born, I wrote a post about installing overhead storage into our garage, and I quoted on of my absolute favorite George Carlin routines about “a place for your stuff.” There is that one last part that I separated out because it didn’t apply to that post but I still found it quite funny. Well, this part is very relevant to me now:

…That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get…more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore.

-George Carlin

That’s right. It’s time for us to “get a bigger house” because there’s “no room for our stuff anymore.”

Yep, we’re house hunting. I’m sure everybody reading this will have some advice to share or a story about their experience. My first experience buying a house was buying the place I’m currently in. I was 22, had no debt, very few expenses, no family to support, a pretty good job, and an inheritance I could use for a down payment. Seemed like a good time to buy. In 2004…

I remember the process, but my parents helped me along quite a bit, and I didn’t have a lot to think about with respect to neighborhood, floor plan, square footage, kitchen size, number of bathrooms, closet space. It was to be my bachelor pad. I was just concerned about where my TV would go and if there was room for the movie posters I wanted to put on the walls. The place I found was great — two master bedrooms (so I could easily rent one out to a roommate and offset some of the mortgage), a place for my TV and my bachelor-ready leather couch, and plenty of wall space for movie posters galore. Many poker games were enjoyed in that space, and I didn’t care about the gold-brass door handles and faucet fixtures, or the ugly-tiled wet bar, or the fluorescent kitchen lighting. Everything was fine with me. I was a homeowner at last.

Fast forward to three years later. Bachelor pad becomes married couple’s house. Roommate moves out. Movie posters come down. Cost Plus artwork goes up. Leather couch goes away. New couch replaces it. Second bedroom becomes office. Bathrooms are decorated. Laminate floors are installed. Dog moves in. Master bathroom is remodeled. We repurposed the bachelor pad into a proper family living space. Well, Alison did. I just followed orders.

Fast forward three more years. Office becomes nursery. Extra storage added in garage. Baby moves in. Kitchen is remodeled. TV is sold. New TV is mounted on wall. New couch again. Anything we could do to increase space for Madelyn and us and to make things easier and more comfortable, we’ve pretty much done.

Now intersperse throughout those six years many conversations that start with Alison saying something like “when are we going to move to a bigger place?” and me answering “I don’t know. Sometime.” It was mostly about not having the equity or the cash to upgrade yet, but it was partially about me avoiding change.

Well, the time has come. After the careful consideration I always take before big changes like this, I gave Alison the good news. We can move to a bigger place. Now is the right time for us. Let’s do it. And so we are. But it feels very bittersweet to me. I love this place. Like I said, it was first bachelor pad, my first married-couple house, and my first family home. Princeton came home to this house. We decorated my daughter’s nursery here. Madelyn’s first night away from the hospital was here.

But nine years and three incarnations later, here we are. Listing our house. Selling it. Looking for a new one. A new one! It’s crazy for me to think about. I seriously can barely get my head around it.

We’re still here though. For now. While we look. And the market is tricky, especially in this area. So we’ve been looking at about one house per day, and most of them are solid nos. But I know we’ll find one. In our price range. In a great area. With a nice big kitchen. And space for Madelyn to play. And an office. And a place for my TV.

…with room for our stuff.

20s Party in the Bachelor Pad! Notice the Rocky poster and the DVD shelf.

20s Party in the Bachelor Pad! Leather couch and more movie posters.

Bathroom Remodel! Wife moves in, so things have to get nicer.

Bathroom Remodel! Remove the soffit, raise the ceiling, add new lighting. Simple.

Bathroom Remodel! Things get worse before they get better.

Bathroom Remodel! Brand new raised counters, completely redone cabinets. Much better.

Readying for baby! Time to reorganize everything…

Getting the Nursery Ready! Gotta rearrange the room and pick a paint color!

Painting the Nursery! Pink and yellow. Yes, but *which* pink and *which* yellow?

Nursery is Ready! Madelyn can move in!

Kitchen Remodel! Let’s gut it first!

Kitchen Remodel! New cabinets. Thanks Ikea®! (Sort of.)

Kitchen Remodel! New granite countertops too! (That sink was an ordeal, but doesn’t it look nice?)

And now we’re on the market! She sure was a good house…